Nuclear energy is the energy released during a nuclear reaction.
Nuclear reactions produce large amounts of energy and occur when the bonds between atoms are reformed through either the fusion or fission processes.
In the fusion process, energy is released when atoms are combined or fused together to make a larger atom. Nuclear fusion is the reaction that powers the sun.
In the fission process, large quantities of energy are released by splitting the atomic nuclei, or dividing atoms into even smaller ones. Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission to produce electricity.
Nuclear energy is used for purposes other than generating electricity, such as: consumer products (smoke detectors, photocopy machines, cosmetics and medical bandages sterilization), food and agriculture, medical and scientific research, water desalination and space exploration.
Currently, most nuclear power plant technologies rely on fission reactions to generate electricity. Nuclear energy provides roughly 11% of the world’s total electricity output across 31 different countries generating up to 75% of their supply.